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Shock to the System: How a Teaching and Learning Model Held up in a Global Pandemic

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Capitalizing on COVID: Using This Disruptor to Change the Educational Model

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37711

Download Count

9

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Paper Authors

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Jes Barron P.E. United States Military Academy

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Jes Barron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from West Point (2009), a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma State University (2015), and a Master of Science degree in Underground Construction and Tunnel Engineering from Colorado School of Mines (2018). He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas. His research interests include underground construction, tunnel engineering, engineering mechanics, engineering education, productivity, and creativity.

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Jakob C. Bruhl United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1645-4520

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Colonel Jakob Bruhl is an Associate Professor and Civil Engineering Program Director in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He received his B.S. from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, M.S. Degrees from the University of Missouri at Rolla and the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, and Ph.D. from Purdue University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri. His research interests include resilient infrastructure, protective structures, and engineering education.

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Brad C. McCoy United States Military Academy

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Brad C. McCoy is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, and currently the Director of the Center for Innovation and Engineering and an Academy Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering and at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA). He holds a BS degree in civil engineering from USMA (2001), and MS and PhD degrees in civil engineering from North Carolina State University (2011 and 2019). Brad is a licensed Professional Engineer (Missouri). His research interests include sustainable infrastructure development, sustainable construction materials, and engineering education.

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Brock E. Barry P.E. United States Military Academy

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Dr. Brock E. Barry, P.E. is the Director of the Civil Engineering Division and Professor of Engineering Education in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Dr. Barry holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a PhD from Purdue University. Prior to pursuing a career in academics, Dr. Barry spent 10-years as a senior geotechnical engineer and project manager on projects throughout the United States. He is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states. Dr. Barry’s areas of research include assessment of professional ethics, teaching and learning in engineering education, nonverbal communication in the classroom, and learning through historical engineering accomplishments. He has authored and co-authored a significant number of journal articles and book chapters on these topics. Dr. Barry is the 2020 recipient of ASEE's National Outstanding Teaching Award.

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Rebecca Zifchock United States Military Academy

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Dr. Rebecca Zifchock joined the faculty at the United States Military Academy in 2010 after receiving her bachelor's degree in Biological and Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University, and master's and Ph.D. degrees in Biomechanics at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Delaware, respectively. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She has over twenty years of research experience in the field of lower-extremity biomechanics, and has 23 peer-reviewed journal publications and over 60 conference proceedings. She has taught as an instructor, adjunct professor, and guest lecturer in five major universities, including Columbia University, Sacred Heart University, and New York Medical College.

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Margaret Nowicki United States Military Academy

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James E. Bluman United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8551-2958

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Lieutenant Colonel James Bluman is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He has served the United States Army for over 20 years as an officer and Army Aviator. He is a graduate of West Point (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering), Penn State (M.S. in Aerospace Engineering), and the Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering). His research interests are in the flight dynamics of VTOL aircraft and UAVs and innovative teaching methods.

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Brad Wambeke P.E. United States Military Academy

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Colonel Brad Wambeke is currently the Deputy Department Head of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. He received his B.S. from South Dakota State University; M.S. from the University of Minnesota; and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. He is a member of ASEE and is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri. His primary research interests include construction engineering, lean construction, and engineering education.

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Abstract

In the late 1990s, the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) formulated a teaching model which guided the training of new faculty. The model served faculty well as they provided instruction and developed learning activities. The model remained unchanged for about 15 years until a team of faculty conducted a methodical review of the literature, reflected on desired outcomes, and deliberated about the role that this model played in achieving the institution and department’s mission and vision. The result was an updated teaching and learning model which was presented at the ASEE National Convention in 2017. As was emphasized in a previous paper, the faculty believed strongly that the teaching and learning model be viewed as a living document that must be applied and regularly challenged, discussed, and updated to ensure it remained relevant. When the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020, the institution, which had very limited experience providing online instruction, sent students home, and switched to delivering fully remote courses within less than one week. Like most other academic institutions, this was a significant shock to the teaching and learning environment; faculty rapidly learned new tools and tried new techniques to teach, engage, and interact with students. After the semester ended, the department formed teams of faculty to devote a portion of the summer to gathering lessons learned from the spring term, examining the literature about online education, and providing recommendations for the fall term. These activities led to discussions about how well the existing teaching and learning model applied to the vastly different environment of online versus in-person education. This inspired the faculty to a thorough examination of the living document. During the subsequent fall term, formal faculty discussions about the model were facilitated. Topics from these discussions were grouped as follows: (1) aspects of the model that can be applied unchanged in the online environment, (2) aspects of the model that are difficult or impossible to apply in the online environment, and (3) ideas that need to be included in the model to support the online environment. The discussions included topics unrelated to the online environment, highlighting important aspects of the model that deserve additional consideration. Results from these faculty discussions will inform a team of faculty that will develop an updated version of the model in the summer of 2021. This work in progress paper summarizes the results from the discussions, highlights preliminary conclusions, and describes future work. This will be of interest to any engineering educator interested in developing and using a teaching and learning model as a guidepost for themselves or their department. This will also be of interest to educators desiring a better understanding of the similarities and differences between in-person and remote teaching.

Barron, J., & Bruhl, J. C., & McCoy, B. C., & Barry, B. E., & Zifchock, R., & Nowicki, M., & Bluman, J. E., & Wambeke, B. (2021, July), Shock to the System: How a Teaching and Learning Model Held up in a Global Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37711

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